Slide 2

"Encourage self regulation of walrus hunting and management of walrus stock by Alaska Natives who use and need walrus to survive."

Created in 1978 by Kawerak, Inc. of Nome, Eskimo Walrus Commission (EWC) is the organization representing Alaska's coastal walrus hunting communities. Initially formed as a consortium of Native hunters, EWC is a recognized statewide entity working on resource co-management issues, specifically walrus, on behalf of Alaska Natives as it continues to be an essential cultural, natural, and subsistence resource to the Alaskan coastal Yupik and Inupiaq communities. Walrus is also a primary resource of food for Alaska Natives and is used to produce handicrafts and artwork from its ivory and bone.

Barrow Brevig Mission Clarks Point Gambell
Kivalina King Island Kotzebue Kwigillingok
Little Diomede Mekoryuk Nome Point Hope
Point Lay Savoonga Shishmaref Stebbins
Unalakleet Wainwright Wales  

A cooperative agreement between FWS and EWC was developed in 1997 to encourage subsistence hunters' participation in conserving and managing walrus stocks in the coastal communities. In 1998, a Memorandum of Understanding between EWC, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, and FWS was signed further allowing joint management of the Pacific Walrus Conservation Fund where the majority of the funds come from the sale of raw ivory by EWC during state conferences and events.

Kawerak's Eskimo Walrus Commission represents Alaska's coastal walrus hunting communities and continues to work cooperatively with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service work on a number of projects:

  • Conducting biannual meetings of commission members who represent 19 communities
  • Monitoring subsistence walrus hunts on Round Island with Bristol Bay Native Association's Qayassiq Walrus Commission in the Bristol Bay
  • Collecting detailed walrus harvest data and biological samples in five communities
  • Recording general walrus harvest data through the federally mandated marking, tagging, and reporting program
  • Working through a cooperative agreement between U.S. and Russian governments with all Chukotkan Native coastal communities in the harvest, conservation and sound management of the Pacific walrus
  • Gathering culture-based traditional knowledge
  • Working with communities to become more proactive in 'co-management' of the walrus population